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Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Old 05-08-2012   #76
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Originally Posted by BobYIL View Post
I herewith will try to shed a light on the discussions of film B&W vs. digital B&W from -a little- engineering point of view; with as simple terms as possible.

Bob
Thank you Bob.
Of course we have already had a black and white sensor the Phase One Achromatic back. This was discussed at "another site" with graphs which confirm the ones posted. The discussion there does shed light, pardon the pun, on the "problems" (inverted commas because they can be advantages) the extended spectral response gives. If the rumoured M9M comes to market the filter choices made will be fascinating. We M8 users may be gaining another group needing filter advice

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...hromatic.shtml
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Old 05-08-2012   #77
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Originally Posted by ChrisLivsey View Post
Thank you Bob.
Of course we have already had a black and white sensor the Phase One Achromatic back. This was discussed at "another site" with graphs which confirm the ones posted. The discussion there does shed light, pardon the pun, on the "problems" (inverted commas because they can be advantages) the extended spectral response gives. If the rumoured M9M comes to market the filter choices made will be fascinating. We M8 users may be gaining another group needing filter advice l
I could not see any "extended spectral response" on that curves as beyond 650-700nm everything is in "undesired" IR-range; means nothing but a requirement for filters, either over the sensor or on the shooting lens. BTW, the curves of KAF-39000 are not impressive at all (quite similar to the monochromatic CCD sensor response above).

Like many others I too am looking forward to seeing how the new sensor from Leica would "response" and hopefully Leica makes us all stunned this time. . However this is physics..
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Old 05-08-2012   #78
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For me, the only images I ever convert to b&w are the ones I hated in color or had something wrong with them where i couldnt tweak the colors to my liking. It is usually a last ditch effort to save an image. If I want b&w, I shoot b&w. Otherwise it just feels like cheating to me. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-08-2012   #79
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Since some of us live in small apartments without the space for a darkroom, scanning film and shooting digital will have to do for us poor city dwellers. Yes we're fake, and we look up in admiration to those of you doing the real thing every day. Please don't ban us from the boards for being cheap copyists of the real photo artists here.
You city dwellers have access to rent some of the best built darkrooms in the world with the best equipment or join a community darkroom. I spent the last 5 years living in Vancouver, Edmonton and New York City and never went without a darkroom when I wanted to use one. Even used my bathroom to make up to 16x20 prints. You also have close proximity to all the supplies and equipment you need. Don't be jealous of us living in the boonies. No excuses you cheap, fake copyist!
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Old 05-08-2012   #80
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I am 100% film for my BW, but I have seen many digital BW images, here and elsewhere, that I simply love. For me, the choice is about cost and equipment. Every digital camera I know about has a problem attached; either too expensive, too big and awkard, too cumbersome to manage the controls, too awkard to manually control focus. I love the film cameras and if you like to see your images in print form, which I do, the overall cost is much lower.
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Old 05-08-2012   #81
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I could not see any "extended spectral response" on that curves as beyond 650-700nm everything is in "undesired" IR-range; .
Surely that depends on what you desire?

http://www.achromaticplus.com/www.ac.../The_Back.html

Conventional black & white copy photography with preservation of extreme tonal ranges.
•Extended ultraviolet & infared imaging sensitivity for image analysis and authentication.
•Digital zone-system technology with complete optical filtering capabilities.
•Multi-image spectral separation photography for pure color separation imaging and preservation of color originals.
•Ideal for glass plate imaging, large format aerial film digitization and volume digitization projects demanding the utmost in image quality.

We are not talking Tri-X territory here which is why, we agree, the Leica implementation will be interesting. There may be a range of filters on the sensor to special order and/or a range of lens filters.
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Old 05-08-2012   #82
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I find the biggest knock regarding digital B&W is that most prints are made with color paper. Of course, you can come pretty darn close when you're making the prints with a printer set up with inks that can reproduce B&W.

To nothing better than a Ag Gel print!
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Old 05-08-2012   #83
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i got over my former prejudice against digital with use of the x100. it's just another medium, yo, with lots and lots of variety ...
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Old 05-08-2012   #84
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I have done BW film for at least 50 yrs. I have yet to see the same feel in a digital BW image. Of course there are some outstanding images made but they are not the same.
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Old 05-08-2012   #85
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Thanks for putting that together Bob, that is really interesting! The difference between film and digital looks even more dramatic in the final graph because of the extended scale of the X axis vs the first chart that shows the HP5 curve but even accounting for that it's still more than small change.
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Old 05-08-2012   #86
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Thanks for putting that together Bob, that is really interesting! The difference between film and digital looks even more dramatic in the final graph because of the extended scale of the X axis vs the first chart that shows the HP5 curve but even accounting for that it's still more than small change.
"The extended scale of the X axis...." has nothing to do with us.. We, as general photographers this side of the special or scientific interests , are interested in only the visible portion of the spectrum, that is roughly between 400nm to 700nm in photography.. Beyond -and beneath- that our cameras (or film) are designed to "eliminate" all other wavelengths this or that way due to their undesired effects on the outputs. Note that all dynamic range measurements are based on the mentioned range.
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Old 05-08-2012   #87
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facinating conversation...

if i were to boil everything that i have just read down to one simple statement it would look something like...'the biggest knock against digital black and white is that...it's not film!

i can live with that.
i like and prefer the look of a clean grain free image. many folks go to medium and large format to tone down the grain.
i am pleased that digital is different from film...choice is a wonderful thing.
i have printed in a wet darkroom, on and off, for more than 30 years, got pretty good at it, sold lots of prints and had some published...i think i can tell a good wet print from a crappy wet print and i know the 'joy' of film and wet prints...

but it's new times and i for one am embracing them.

to each his/her own...
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Old 05-08-2012   #88
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Originally Posted by BobYIL View Post
"The extended scale of the X axis...." has nothing to do with us.. We, as general photographers this side of the special or scientific interests , are interested in only the visible portion of the spectrum, that is roughly between 400nm to 700nm in photography.. Beyond -and beneath- that our cameras (or film) are designed to "eliminate" all other wavelengths this or that way due to their undesired effects on the outputs. Note that all dynamic range measurements are based on the mentioned range.
Righto, just saying that someone who is "graph impaired" or careless might not notice the different scales and assume they are the same. The difference is large no matter what, but if you carelessly assumed that the CCD graph only went to 750 like the HP5 graph it'd look like the CCD tanks through an even bigger spectrum than it already does.
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Old 05-08-2012   #89
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facinating conversation...

if i were to boil everything that i have just read down to one simple statement it would look something like...'the biggest knock against digital black and white is that...it's not film!

i can live with that.
i like and prefer the look of a clean grain free image. many folks go to medium and large format to tone down the grain.
i am pleased that digital is different from film...choice is a wonderful thing.
i have printed in a wet darkroom, on and off, for more than 30 years, got pretty good at it, sold lots of prints and had some published...i think i can tell a good wet print from a crappy wet print and i know the 'joy' of film and wet prints...



but it's new times and i for one am embracing them.

to each his/her own...
This basically sums it up for me as well. I'm not finding digital lacking, and yes I have printed traditionally - in fact was trained to do so.

Getting good black and white from digital is hard. Getting good black and white from black and white is hard too. Being good at one does not make one good at the other and that causes frustration. Not everyone is interested in taking on the learning curve and I suspect those are the ones that say digital b&w is inferior. It's a different medium, not a lesser one.
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Old 05-08-2012   #90
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Originally Posted by BobYIL View Post
I herewith will try to shed a light on the discussions of film B&W vs. digital B&W from -a little- engineering point of view; with as simple terms as possible.

Regards,

Bob


Very nice Bob.

You could probably get round this by profiling the sensor in the camera and the film stock that is to be emulated. That information would be incorporated in to a 3d look up table that would handle the conversion.

It's done a lot in the movie business, but building a LUT like that is not a trivial task.

I suspect that the guys who make Truegrain may be doing something like this.

http://www.grubbasoft.com/index.html
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Old 05-09-2012   #91
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The issue of different spectral response is valid, as is the the issue of a sensor's linear exposure curve vs the characteristic curves of various films.

However, this is mostly resolved with a few computer strokes in you favorite film emulation software.
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Old 05-09-2012   #92
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Grain is not intrinsic to digital as it is with film, and adding it to digital files is just dumb. If you want grain, use the medium that has it: fast films. So much of our modern world is falsehood built on lie built on delusion. There is nothing wrong with authenticity; with using an artistic medium in a way that is honest and honors that medium's nature.
Dear Chris,

That's my feeling, too. Add-on grain, along with fake Polaroid edges and faux filed-out negative carriers on digital images remind me of those 'oil painting' photographs where clear, thick varnish is laid over the picture with a brush to create 'brush strokes' and make it 'look like a painting'.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-09-2012   #93
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However, this is mostly resolved with a few computer strokes in you favorite film emulation software.
There is actually one essential reason that this is never true. Read this article to understand why:

http://photo-utopia.blogspot.se/2007...nd-clumps.html
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Old 05-09-2012   #94
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Dear Chris,

That's my feeling, too. Add-on grain, along with fake Polaroid edges and faux filed-out negative carriers on digital images remind me of those 'oil painting' photographs where clear, thick varnish is laid over the picture with a brush to create 'brush strokes' and make it 'look like a painting'.

Cheers,

R.
I agree Roger. Let digital be digital.
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Old 05-09-2012   #95
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joe, that's a fine summation ...
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Old 05-09-2012   #96
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I do think adding grain in post processing is silly. (...) and adding it to digital files is just dumb.
Itīs not silly or dumb, itīs how I want my pictures to look. A tad of texture looks more pleasing than a super clean file, at least to me.

Everything goes, that is digital. If I am happy with the results - or the audience is - perfect.

Who are you to tell me what is silly and dumb?
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Old 05-09-2012   #97
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but it's new times and i for one am embracing them.
This includes a presumption that those who think film looks better are somehow 'in denial', or backward-looking nostalgists, unable or unwilling to face the challenge of "new times".

I come from a digital background, and work every day with digital media, but then I saw the real difference between how film and a digital sensor captures light - especially bright light and abrupt transitions (amongst other differences) - and since then the rubbish I read about how these immense differences are merely a matter of 'taste' or a few clicks of software really incense me. It's as offensive as listening to some oaf in a museum laughing at a Picasso, or saying that "a five year old could paint better".

By all means use digital or film or your iPhone with Hipstamatic (I use all of these), but spare me the sermons.
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Old 05-09-2012   #98
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Itīs not silly or dumb, itīs how I want my pictures to look. A tad of texture looks more pleasing than a super clean file, at least to me.

Everything goes, that is digital. If I am happy with the results - or the audience is - perfect.

Who are you to tell me what is silly and dumb?
Who I am is not a secret, I do not hide behind fake internet names, and my work is online for anyone to see.

I stand by what I said. If you like grain, shoot film. There's no reason to falsify your work. Just choose the medium that works for it. I feel the same about people who make blue-toned black and white photos in Photoshop and try to pass them off as 'cyanotypes', or people who add fake film borders to digital photos. Its dishonest, because it implies that the person doing it has skills that they may not have (cyanotypes require a different knowledge and skillset, compared to digifaking it) and not necessary.
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Old 05-09-2012   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCrawford
I do think adding grain in post processing is silly. (...) and adding it to digital files is just dumb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedfreak View Post
Itīs not silly or dumb, itīs how I want my pictures to look. A tad of texture looks more pleasing than a super clean file, at least to me.

Everything goes, that is digital. If I am happy with the results - or the audience is - perfect.

Who are you to tell me what is silly and dumb?
Not to step on toes here but Chris' comment is an opinion - that can be seen with his statement (which you quoted) "I do think . . . . " - that's just his opinion on it. Your opinion is different.

No one opinion is "more correct" than the opinion of someone else.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 05-09-2012   #100
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facinating conversation...

if i were to boil everything that i have just read down to one simple statement it would look something like...'the biggest knock against digital black and white is that...it's not film!

Pretty much. Microwave ovens are not like firewood stoves (either is evil, condescending, etc. etc. depending on who you ask). Digital watches tell the time more cleanly than 10-jewel mechanical pocket watches (either is evil, condescending, etc. etc. depending on who you ask). Whiteboard markers make you write English in a different way than fountain pens.

The list goes on, and the polarized will stick to their guns.


Quote:
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but it's new times and i for one am embracing them.

to each his/her own...
No! Kodachrome is the only true photographic recording medium in the whole history of the world and everything else is wrong.
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